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Set depth priority for a 3D layer

When you work with 3D layers, it's possible that some features will compete for the same space in the scene. This can result in flashing anomalies. To resolve this drawing issue, often referred to as z-fighting, you can set the depth priority of a layer to force it to draw on top. For example, if you want a textured multipatch layer to draw in front of another multipatch layer that competes for the same space, set the depth priority of the textured multipatch layer higher than the other.

Caution:

Adjust the depth priority of layers only when z-fighting occurs. If no draw anomalies or artifacts are present, leave the depth priorities setting as is. Setting depth priority when it isn't needed may introduce artifacts to the scene.

There are two ways to set depth priority. You can send a layer forward or backward in the depth stack using the depth priority commands on the layer's context menu. This is the preferred approach to resolve z-fighting. If you are unable to resolve the issue this way, or if too many layers have a depth priority assigned, use the Depth Priority dialog box to adjust settings for all layers in a scene.

Features from two 3D layers with z-fighting
Features from two 3D layers are drawing in the same space, resulting in z-fighting artifacts.
Features from two 3D layers with depth priority set
Depth priority is set so the textured multipatch layer draws in front.

Set the depth priority of a 3D layer

  1. In the Contents pane, right-click a 3D layer (in the 3D Layers category) that is participating in z-fighting.
  2. Choose Depth Priority and click one of the following:
    • Bring To Front Bring To Front sets the depth priority to the highest value of all 3D layers and will ensure this layer is drawn above others that compete for the same 3D space.
    • Bring Forward Bring Forward increases the depth priority of the selected layer by one.
    • Send To Back Send To Back removes the depth priority from the layer.
    • Send Backward Send Backward decreases the depth priority by one.

Manage the depth priority for all layers in a scene

To manage the depth priority for all 3D layers, you can open the Depth Priority dialog box and set the depth priority for each layer.

The default depth priority value is 0. In most cases, all layers should have a depth priority value of 0. If you are experiencing z-fighting or other drawing anomalies, set the priority layer (the one that you want to see over the others) to depth priority 1. There is no benefit to setting more than one layer to a non-zero depth priority. You can sort the columns to better organize the table if you have a lot of layers. Either sort the layers alphabetically, or sort them by their depth priority setting. Sorting does not impact depth priority settings.

Note:

Depth priority values may have been set using the depth priority commands on the context menu of a layer, as described in the section above. You can use the Depth Priority dialog box to reset depth priority settings that have been set in this way if necessary.

  1. On the View tab, in the Scene group, click Depth Priority.
  2. On the Depth Priority dialog box, set the depth priority of the layers.
  3. Click OK.